Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 9 (1894)


Lt 23b, 1894

Evans, I. H.; Testimony to Battle Creek

Granville, Australia

July 20, 1894

This letter is published in entirety in 8T 48-53.

I. H. Evans:

I wish to remind my brethren of the cautions and warnings that have been given me in reference to constantly investing means in Battle Creek in order to make a little more room, or to make things more convenient. New fields are to be entered, the truth is to be proclaimed as a witness to all nations. The work is hindered, so that the banner of truth cannot be uplifted, as it should be, in these new fields. While our brethren in America feel at liberty to invest means in buildings which time will reveal that they would do just as well and even better without, thousands of dollars are thus absorbed that the Lord called for, to be used in “regions beyond.” [2 Corinthians 10:16.] 9LtMs, Lt 23b, 1894, par. 1

I have presented the warnings and the cautions as the word of the Lord; but my heart has been made sad to see that notwithstanding all these, the means has been swallowed up to satisfy these supposed wants; building has been added to building, so that the money could not be used in places where they have no conveniences, no building for public worship of God or to give character to the work, no place where the banner of truth could be uplifted. 9LtMs, Lt 23b, 1894, par. 2

These things I have set before you, and yet you have gone on just the same, absorbing means, God’s means, in one locality, when the Lord has spoken that too much was already invested in one place, which meant that there was nothing in other places where there should be buildings and facilities to make even a beginning. What call had you to invest thousands of dollars in additional school buildings? You supposed you needed all this outlay, but did not the entreaties come for you not to do this? 9LtMs, Lt 23b, 1894, par. 3

I was shown that a terrible condition of things is soon to exist in our world. The angel of mercy is folding her wings, ready to depart. Already the Lord’s restraining power is being withdrawn from the earth, and the power of Satan is working in the world to stir up the religious elements under the training of the great deceiver, to work with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in the children of disobedience. Already the inhabitants of the earth are marshalling under the leading of the prince of darkness, and this is only the beginning of the end. The law of God is made void. 9LtMs, Lt 23b, 1894, par. 4

We see and hear of confusion, perplexities, want and famine, earthquakes and floods; terrible outrages will be committed by men; passion, not reason, bears sway. The wrath of God is upon the inhabitants of a world that is fast becoming as corrupt as were Sodom and Gomorrah. Already fires and floods are destroying thousands of human beings, and the property that has been selfishly hoarded by the oppression of the poor. The Lord is soon to cut short His work, and put an end to sin. O that the scenes which have come before me, of the iniquities practiced in these last days, might make a suitable impression on the minds of God’s professed people! 9LtMs, Lt 23b, 1894, par. 5

As it was in the days of Noah, so shall it be when the Son of man shall be revealed. The Lord is removing His restrictions from the earth, and there shall be death and destruction, and increasing crime and evil, cruel working against the rich who have exalted themselves above the poor. Those who have not God’s protection will find no safety in any place or position. Human agents are being trained, and are using their inventive power to put in operation all the most powerful machinery to wound and kill. Instead of our enlarging and erecting additional buildings in Battle Creek or other places where our institutions are already established, there should be a limiting of the wants. Let the means and workers be scattered to represent the truth and give the warning message in “regions beyond.” [Verse 16.] 9LtMs, Lt 23b, 1894, par. 6

When the children of Israel were on their journey through the wilderness, the Lord protected them from the venomous serpents; but there came a time when, because of Israel’s stubbornness and impenitence and transgression, the Lord removed His restraining power from these reptiles whose sting was deadly, and many were bitten and died. Then it was that the brazen serpent was uplifted, that all who repented and looked to it in faith might live. In the time of confusion and trouble such as never was since there was a nation, the uplifted Saviour will be presented to the people in all lands and in all places, that all who look may live. 9LtMs, Lt 23b, 1894, par. 7

But in view of the terrible crisis before us, what are those doing who claim to believe the truth? I was called by my Guide, who said, “Follow me,” and I was shown things among our people that were not in accordance with their faith. There seemed to be a bicycle craze; money was spent to gratify an enthusiasm in this direction that might better, far better, have been invested in buildings, houses of worship, where they are greatly needed. 9LtMs, Lt 23b, 1894, par. 8

There were presented before me some very strange things in Battle Creek. There seemed to be a bewitching influence which was passing as a wave over our people there, and which will be followed by other temptations. Anything that can absorb means in meeting supposed wants in any direction, Satan will use with intensity of purpose to induce our people to invest their time and money. It is all a species of idolatry. The example will be followed; and while hundreds are starving for bread, while famine and pestilence are being seen and felt because God cannot, according to His own name’s glory, protect those who are determinedly working contrary to His will, shall our people who profess to love and serve God be acting as did the people in the days of Noah, following the imagination of their own hearts? 9LtMs, Lt 23b, 1894, par. 9

While you have been gratifying your inclination in the appropriation of money, God’s money for which you must give an account, missionary work has been hindered and bound about for want of money and workers to lift the banner of truth in localities where they have never even heard the message of warning. Will God say to those who are selfishly pleasing their own imagination and gratifying their own desires, “Well done, good and faithful servant, enter thou into the joy of thy Lord. Thou has been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things”? [Matthew 25:23.] What kind of a witness for the truth are you in Battle Creek bearing to the unbelieving world? I have been shown that the Lord does not look upon your course with favor, for your practice contradicts your profession of faith. You are not doers of the words of Christ. 9LtMs, Lt 23b, 1894, par. 10

I was told by my Guide, “Look ye, and behold the idolatry of my people, to whom I have been speaking, rising up early, and presenting to them their dangers. I looked that they should bring forth fruit.” There were some who were striving for the mastery, each striving to excel others in the swift running of their bicycles. There was a spirit of strife and contention among them, as to which should be the greatest. The spirit was similar to that manifested in the ball games on the College grounds. Said my Guide, “These things are an offense to God. Both near and afar off, souls are perishing for the bread of life and the waters of salvation. When Satan is defeated in one line, he will be already with other schemes and plans which will appear attractive and needful, and which will absorb money and thought and encourage selfishness, so that he can overcome those who are so easily led into false paths and selfish indulgence.” 9LtMs, Lt 23b, 1894, par. 11

The question will arise, What burden do these persons carry for the advancement of the work of God? Wherein do they realize the importance of the work for this time? Christ said to His disciples, “Ye are the light of the world. ... Let your light so shine before men that they by seeing your good works may glorify your father which is in heaven.” [Matthew 5:14, 16.] Is this investment of money, and this spinning of bicycles through the streets of Battle Creek, giving evidence of the genuineness of your faith in the proclamation of the last most solemn warning to be given to human beings on the very verge of the eternal world? 9LtMs, Lt 23b, 1894, par. 12

Brethren and sisters in America, I make my appeal to you. God is not mocked. Whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap. The lives of many are too delicate and dainty; they know nothing of bearing hardness as good soldiers of Jesus Christ. They themselves are obstructions in the way of soul-saving. They have many wants, everything must be convenient, and easy and nice to suit their taste; they themselves will not move, and those who would move they hinder by their suppositions and imaginary wants and their love of idols. They think themselves Christians, but do not know what the practical Christian life signifies. 9LtMs, Lt 23b, 1894, par. 13

What is the definition of Christian? It is to be Christlike. “He who will come after me,” said Jesus, “let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me.” [Luke 9:23.] When the Lord sees His people binding about their imaginary wants, practicing self-denial, not in a mournful, regretful spirit, as Lot’s wife left Sodom, but joyfully, for Christ’s sake, and because it is the right thing to do, then the work will go forward with power. 9LtMs, Lt 23b, 1894, par. 14

Let nothing, however dear, however loved, absorb your mind and affections, diverting you from the searching of the Scriptures, or from most earnest prayer. Watch unto prayer, live your own requests, co-operate with God by working in harmony with him, expel everything from the soul temple which assumes the form of an idol. Now is God’s time, and His time is your time. Fight the good fight of faith, refuse to think unbelief, or to talk unbelief. There is a world to hear the last warning of mercy. 9LtMs, Lt 23b, 1894, par. 15